DOI: 10.1101/514240Jan 7, 2019Paper

How conspicuous are peacock eyespots and other colorful feathers in the eyes of mammalian predators?

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Suzanne Amador KaneRoslyn Dakin

Abstract

Feathers perceived by humans to be vividly colorful are often presumed to be equally conspicuous to other mammals, and thus to present an enhanced predation risk. However, many mammals that prey on adult birds have dichromatic visual systems with only two types of color-sensitive visual receptors (one sensitive to ultraviolet light), rather than the three characteristic of humans and four of most birds. Thus, understanding how these predators perceive color requires quantitative visual modeling. Here, we use a combination of reflectance spectroscopy, multispectral imaging, color vision modelling and visual texture analysis to compare the visual signals available to conspecifics and to mammalian predators for multicolored feathers from the Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) as well as red and yellow parrot feathers; we also take into account the effects of distance-dependent blurring due to visual acuity. When viewed by tetrachromatic birds against a background of green vegetation, most of the feathers studied had color and brightness contrasts similar to values previously found for ripe fruit. By contrast, when viewed by dichromat mammalian predators, the color and brightness contrasts of these feathers were only weakly detectable...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Allergens
Aves
Eye
Fruit
Ion Channel
Visual Acuity
Inachis io
Pavo cristatus
Analysis
Reflectance or Transmission Spectroscopy

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